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The Six-Pack Ab Workout That Will Get You Shredded

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Over the past decade or so, the six-pack has become the holy grail of men’s fitness, adorning countless magazine covers and motivating millions of workout sessions.

The good news is that you don’t have to be like Patrick Bateman and do 1000 crunches each morning to get a six-pack. There are plenty of diverse and challenging ways of firing up your abs, while subtly working many other parts of your body as an added bonus.

The simple and effective workout below is designed to develop that all-important washboard stomach. But it won’t just make you look good: it will also increase your functional strength, rotational power, and muscular endurance at the same time. Everyone’s a winner.

Perform the workout once a week. It doesn’t require much time, so you can easily add it to the end of your normal workout.

The Workout

Perform the following circuit three times over.

25 kettlebell swings
6 ab wheel rollouts
10 around the world’s (in each direction)
30 seconds flutter kicks
30 seconds T-stabilisation (side to side)
30 seconds Russian twists
One plank to failure

Once you’re comfortable doing three cycles, push yourself by moving up to four, then five repetitions.

The Kettlebell Swing

I’m sometimes asked if I could recommend just one exercise, what would it be. The kettlebell swing is my answer.

This is a fantastic exercise that helps generate power, burn fat, increase aerobic capacity and muscular endurance. Whilst not an abdominal isolation exercise (it actually works your hamstrings, glutes, quads, lower back and shoulders too), I’ve included it in this ab workout because it requires the abs to be in their natural, braced position. The movement places significant demand on your abdominal throughout the exercise.

Ab Wheel Rollouts

This is the most advanced exercise in the workout. The following day is rarely fun after a good set of ab wheel rollouts!

The difficulty is in the amount of movement you are able to achieve with good form whilst still being able to draw yourself back to the start position.

If you find yourself struggling to get completely flat, consider working on your laterals, which are required to be strong as your range of motion increases. Standing pulldowns on a lat pull machine are a good way to start.

Around The World

This is the second kettlebell exercise in the workout, which again works your abdominal from their natural braced position.

You’ve got to watch your form when doing this one: I’d suggest performing it in front of a mirror to make sure that your hips stay in line. You can expect a little sway back and forth if you are going heavy, but your overall structure must stay intact.

Incidentally, this exercise will also work muscles in your upper body including the lats and rhomboids.

Flutter Kicks

Flutter kicks mimic the kind of kicking you would perform when swimming and provide a fantastic exercise for hitting those lower abs.

Developing strong lower abs will cultivate that washboard stomach aesthetic.They are tucked just behind the part of your stomach that is generally hardest to shift fat from, so spend time developing this area and as you lean up you’ll be pleased to see your muscles shine through.

T- Stabilisation

I’ve included the T-stabilisation exercise in the workout to allow you to get a feel for how comfortable you are moving your weight from side to side.

The T- Stabiliser is a great exercise to develop your abs and obliques whilst enhancing your stability and balance.

Russian Twists

I’ve included Russian twists in this workout to hit your obliques, which are the muscles to the side of your abdominals. Developing these muscles will give your torso a well rounded and muscular appearance.

On a functional level, Russian twists will help you develop rotational power, which will assist in sports such as boxing, golf, tennis and hockey.

Plank

The plank is the quintessential abdominal/core exercise. Any workout regime that left it out would be a little hollow.

You can make this exercise more challenging by moving from a straight arm position down onto your elbows and back up again, taking care not to allow your hips to move from side to side.

Planking to failure means holding the position until you can do so no longer.

Fitness

Beat Stress Like A Champ

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Stress, we all have to deal with it every day. Rather it’s being stuck in rush hour traffic, dealing with taskmaster for a boss, or financial woes.  The daily migraines, anxiety attacks, and that weight you can’t seem to lose can all be due to the amount of stress in your life.  Stress comes at us from all different directions, but you have to find a way to control it before it gets the best of you. Checkout some ways you can deal with the stress before it gets the best of you.

Punch The Heavy Bag

Your boss is horrible and getting on your nerves. You don’t want to get fired for beating down your boss.  So instead of beating your boss, put on the gloves and punch a heavy bag for 30 minutes. A University of Missouri at Columbia study found that 33 minutes of high-intensity exercise helps lower stress levels more than working out at a moderate pace. What’s more, the benefits last as long as 90 minutes afterward.

Sauna Time

In an Oklahoma State University study, those who combined sauna use with group counseling had greater stress relief, feelings of relaxation, and sense of accomplishment compared with those who only had their heads shrunk.

Add Ten Minutes

When you’re stuck in traffic, call whomever you need to and tell them you’ll be late—but add 10 minutes to your revised arrival time, says Dr. Pillay. Missing deadlines is stressful. Avoid missing another one.

Schedule Time

Missed a deadline? Appreciate what you learned about planning ahead. Kids kept you up with a stomach flu? Be grateful this is the only health woe facing your family. By finding the good in a stressor, you reduce the intensity, says Dr. Winner.

Apologize

What, now the kid is screaming on a crowded airplane? Immediately apologize to everyone around you. By acknowledging that you may have made a mistake or hurt someone else, you can help clear the air, and that will reduce your stress level, says Charles Emery, Ph.D., an associate professor of psychology at Ohio State University

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Get Lean By Eating Like A Caveman With The Paleo Diet

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There are a lot of diet trends that come and go, but one that seems to be catching fire with men is the Paleo Diet. The Paleo Diet is based on emulating the diet of our hunter-gatherer ancestors. It includes whole, unprocessed foods that resemble what they look like in nature.

Our ancestors were genetically the same as modern humans. They thrived eating such foods and were free of diseases like obesity, diabetes and heart disease.

Several studies suggest that this diet can lead to significant weight loss (without calorie counting) and major improvements in health.

A Paleo Diet Meal Plan

There is no one “right” way to eat for everyone and paleolithic humans thrived on a variety of diets, depending on what was available at the time. Some ate a low-carb diet high in animal foods, others a high-carb diet with lots of plants.

Consider this as a general guideline, not something written in stone. You can adapt all of this to your own personal needs and preferences.

The Basics

Eat: Meat, fish, eggs, vegetables, fruits, nuts, seeds, herbs, spices, healthy fats and oils.

Avoid: Processed foods, sugar, soft drinks, grains, most dairy products, legumes, artificial sweeteners, vegetable oils, margarine and trans fats.

Avoid These Foods

Avoid these foods and ingredients:

  • Sugar and High Fructose Corn Syrup: Soft drinks, fruit juices, table sugar, candy, pastries, ice cream and many others.
  • Grains: Includes breads and pastas, wheat, spelt, rye, barley, etc.
  • Legumes: Beans, lentils and many more.
  • Dairy: Avoid most dairy, especially low-fat (some versions of paleo do include full-fat dairy like butter and cheese).
  • Vegetable Oils: Soybean oil, sunflower oil, cottonseed oil, corn oil, grapeseed oil, safflower oil and others.
  • Trans Fats: Found in margarine and various processed foods. Usually referred to as “hydrogenated” or “partially hydrogenated” oils.
  • Artificial Sweeteners: Aspartame, Sucralose, Cyclamates, Saccharin, Acesulfame Potassium. Use natural sweeteners instead.
  • Highly Processed Foods: Everything labelled “diet” or “low-fat” or has many weird ingredients. Includes artificial meal replacements.
  • A simple guideline: If it looks like it was made in a factory, don’t eat it!

Foods to Eat on The Paleo Diet

Base your diet on these real, unprocessed paleo foods.

  • Meats: Beef, lamb, chicken, turkey, pork and others.
  • Fish and Seafood: Salmon, trout, haddock, shrimp, shellfish, etc. Choose wild-caught if you can.
  • Eggs: Choose free-range, pastured or Omega-3 enriched eggs.
  • Vegetables: Broccoli, kale, peppers, onions, carrots, tomatoes, etc.
  • Fruits: Apples, bananas, oranges, pears, avocados, strawberries, blueberries and more.
  • Tubers: Potatoes, sweet potatoes, yams, turnips, etc.
  • Nuts and Seeds: Almonds, macadamia nuts, walnuts, hazelnuts, sunflower seeds, pumpkin seeds and more.
  • Healthy Fats and Oils: Lard, tallow, coconut oil, olive oil, avocado oil and others.
  • Salt and Spices: Sea salt, himalayan salt, garlic, turmeric, rosemary, etc.

Maybe Eat

In the past few years, the paleo community has evolved quite a bit.There are now several different “versions” of the paleo diet. Many of them allow some modern foods that science has shown to be healthy.

This includes quality bacon from pasture raised pigs, grass-fed butter and even some non-gluten grains like rice.

Many people now think of paleo as a template to base your diet on, not necessarily as a strict set of rules that you must follow.

Sensible Indulgences

These are perfectly healthy in small amounts:

  • Wine: Quality red wine is high in antioxidants and beneficial nutrients.
  • Dark Chocolate: Choose one that has 70% or higher cocoa content. Quality dark chocolate is very nutritious and extremely healthy.

What to Drink When You’re Thirsty

When it comes to hydration, water should be your go-to beverage.

These aren’t exactly paleo, but most people drink them anyway:

  • Tea is very healthy and loaded with antioxidants and various beneficial compounds. Green tea is best.
  • Coffee is actually very high in antioxidants as well. Studies show that it has many health benefits.
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Fitness

Best Cardio Training You Should Try

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The treadmill is one of the standards in every gym. If you want to do cardio you have to be another hamster stuck on the wheel. But you can escape the clutches of the treadmill by doing some cardio training that most people don’t use. “The human body wasn’t designed for conveyor-belt training or repetitive, one-dimensional movement,” says Dan John, a fitness coach in Burlingame, California, and the author of Never Let Go. So try one of John’s novel cardio drills below.

Plus you won’t have the distraction or have to what in line to use those damn crowded machines.

Maybe you hate being on the treadmill.

The “55” Workout

Start by doing one body-weight squat and 10 pushups. Rest for 30 seconds, and then do 2 squats and 9 pushups. Gradually work your way up to 10 squats and down to 1 pushup. You’ll complete 55 reps of each exercise by the time you’re done—and reap both the cardiovascular benefit of aerobic training and the muscular pump of a strength session. (And if you like this routine, you’ll love The World’s Most Efficient Workout.)

10-Meter Sprints

Find an area in your gym where you can sprint for 10 meters. Once you’ve covered the distance, pause just long enough to inhale and exhale once through your nose. Sprint back and pause, this time inhaling and exhaling twice through your nose. Continue the drill—breathing normally as you sprint, and adding an additional nose inhalation and exhalation when you pause—until you can no longer breathe through your nose. “It takes more effort than breathing through your mouth—even during rest—which increases the intensity of the exercise,” John says. The result: more gain in less time (and distance) than on a treadmill. (Don’t undermine your fitness efforts: Make sure to avoid The Worst “Free” Restaurant Foods in America.)

Jumping-Jack Pyramid

Do as many jumping jacks as you can in 10 seconds. Rest for an equal amount of time. Next, do as many jumping jacks as you can in 20 seconds, and rest 20 seconds. Then do 30 seconds of jumping jacks followed by 30 seconds of rest. Now work your way back down the pyramid (30, 20, 10). Repeat three times. This will change the way you think about jumping jacks forever.

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